2002 Guinness Book of World Records
for the Category "Longevity Records," pp. 18, 19

(Guinness World Records, Ltd.; Industria Grafica, SA; Barcelona, SPAIN; 2002)

1. The World's Oldest Person Who Ever Lived

The greatest fully-authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is 122 years 164 days by Madam Jeanne Louise Calment of FRANCE. She was born on February 21, 1875 and died on August 4, 1997. Centenarians surviving beyond age 114 is an extremely rare occurrence. It is thought that only one 115-year life can be expected per 2.1 billion persons.

2. The World's Oldest Male Who Ever Lived

The greatest age for any man was 120 years 237 days. Mr. Shigechiyo Izumi of Isen on Tokunoshima, an island 820 miles (1,320 Km) Southwest of Japan, was born on June 29, 1865 and died on February 21, 1986. He worked until he was 105. He drank Sho-chu (distilled from barley) and took up smoking at the age of 70. He attributed his long life to "God, Buddha, and the Sun."

3. The Current World's Oldest Living Person is an American Woman

Mrs. Maude Ferris-Luse (neé Davis) born on January 21, 1887 in Morley, Michigan now at age 114 is currently the world's oldest living person whose date-of-birth can be fully authenticated.

4. The Current World's Oldest Living Male is an Italian Man

At age 112, Mr. Antonio Todde, born on January 22, 1889 in Tiana, Sardinia, ITALY, is the oldest living man in the world. He claims his longevity is the result of a lifetime of hard work and a daily glass of locally produced red wine. Sardinia's exceptionally high concentration of centenarians is attributed mainly to genetics. Both of Antonio's parents lived well into their 90's, and his four children are all living and now in their 80's.

5. The World's Oldest Twins Who Ever Lived

The oldest twins ever documented are Eli Shadrack and John Meshak Phipps (USA) born on February 14, 1803 in Affington, Virginia. Eli died on February 23, 1911 at the age of 108 years; his brother John died on December 10, 1916 at the age of 113. The chance of identical twins both reaching and surpassing the age of 100 is about 1:700,000,000 (one in 700 million).

[ Editor's Note: Recent evidence has come to light subsequent to the publication of this edition of the Guinness Book of Records that throws this "Twin Claim" into serious doubt. More details later.]

6. The World's Oldest Triplets Who Ever Lived

The longest-lived triplets ever recorded were Faith, Hope, and Charity Cardwell (USA) who were born on May 18, 1899. Faith died first on October 2, 1994 age 95 years 137 days.

7. The World's Oldest Living Triplets

Marjory Skeaping (neé Scott), Sheila Botterill (neé Scott), and David Scott (UK) have been verified as the world's oldest living triplets. They were born in Edinburgh, SCOTLAND on May 19, 1920. Curiously, their Uncle, Aunt, and their Mother's First Cousin also celebrate their birthdays on May 19th.

8. The World's Oldest Living Quadruplets

The oldest quadruplets were The Ottmans (GERMANY). Adolf, Ann-Marie, Emma, and Elisabeth were born on May 5, 1912. All four quads lived to the age of 79. In November 2000, there were 992 sets of quadruplets worldwide. Identical quads are quite rare - only about 20 sets worldwide.

9. The World's Oldest Mother

Mrs. Rosanna Dalla Corte (ITALY) born in 1931 gave birth to a baby boy on July 18, 1994 when she was 63 years old. The baby was conceived through artificial insemination using donor eggs. Side Note: On November 7, 1996, 63-year-old Mrs. Arceli Keh (USA) gave birth to a daughter having undergone treatment by In Vitro Fertilization.

10. The World's Oldest Father

Sadly, Guinness doesn't maintain a category for "Oldest Father" as it does with "Oldest Mother." Why not? Do our reader's have any suggestions for men in this category? Please E-mail us at scoles@grg.org..

[ Note: Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, Georgia has written to say, "As for the oldest man to sire a child, I've seen reports of a 93-year-old father."]

For more information, register at the Guinness Website and then click on "The Human Body" and the "Age and Youth" Categories. As a side effect, they will be send you an automatically-generated E-mail, which you can safely ignore.